So I've been sitting at home, reading about how to be a proper home economist, and realizing that it's a full time job... A full time job that I wouldn't mind taking.
It is conceivable that in a few years one of us will be making enough money for the other to just stay home so I've been giving that option some thought. In a lot of ways, that option sounds very appealing but of course a few concerns do pop up. For one, who's to say that I should be the one that stays home? I'm sure Michael would love the opportunity to be a stay at home hubby. Aside from outdated gender stereotypes what gives me the right to stay home over Michael? Well, to be fair, I am more qualified... I already know how to cook and clean and darn socks...
But if I were to be the bread winner I wouldn't mind. The idea of always coming home to a warm meal already prepared, a house that's always clean, always having clean clothes to wear without having to do any of the work is pretty nice. Having a stay at home spouse is also like having a full time personal assistant, someone to run all the errands, remember all the social calendars and birthdays and such. I wouldn't have to worry about anything other than my career! Regardless of who gets to stay home, it's a pretty sweet idea.
I'm sure being a stay at home spouse isn't all it's cracked up to be. Constant cleaning and cooking aside, the lack of social interaction would get pretty stifling. I consider myself a loner but even I think I would need someone to interact with every once in awhile through out the day. Sure, they're are a lot of stay at home mom groups but I don't think there are too many stay at home wife groups. It's not like back in the day when most women stayed home and you can go visit your friend over lunch or go grocery shopping together or something, most people are working during the day, if not, they have kids. I don't want to be one of those women who becomes "friends" with the local barista and the highlight of my day is holding up the line and boring some random cashier with my stories. And, neither of us will make enough money to be able to join the Ladies Who Lunch club.
The main reason why we would never go single income is, of course, money. Well, to be more precise, greed. We live pretty simply right now but we definitely have a lot of corners we can cut. If we make some sacrifices, in a few years we might be able to go single income. However, is having a stay at home spouse really worth forgoing all that potential income? For us, the answer is, of course, no. It's not that we're dreaming of fancy cars and small mansions but I am dreaming of a comfortable retirement and a big emergency fund. I am dreaming of being able to eat out a few times a month and having nice things. However, even if I were married to someone making six figures I don't know that I could give up my income. It's too much potential money to let go. Is it being selfish? Holding onto a job I don't need just so I can have more money in the bank and extra money to buy nice shoes and fancy cable with DVR? Shouldn't that job to go someone equally qualified that needs it? Is this what's wrong with today's economy? The environment? Shouldn't we all return to simpler times when fun was stitching pretty embroidery patterns onto a handkerchief and every women knew how to make 9 meals out of one chicken?
Well, I guess the smartest thing to do would be to just save save save as much money as possible so that we can enjoy an early retirement. Pay the house off early, drive beaters, work easy part time jobs and just spend all of our day cooking, cleaning, and playing scrabble. That sounds like fun.